The Mn4CaO5 cluster in the oxygen-evolving complex is the catalytic core of the Photosystem II (PSII) enzyme, responsible for the water splitting reaction in oxygenic photosynthesis. The role of the redox-inactive ion in the cluster has not yet been fully clarified, although several experimental data are available on Ca2+-depleted and Ca2+-substituted PSII complexes, indicating Sr2+-substituted PSII as the only modification that preserves oxygen evolution. In this work, we investigated the structural and electronic properties of the PSII catalytic core with Ca2+ replaced with Sr2+ and Cd2+ in the S2 state of the Kok-Joliot cycle by means of density functional theory and ab initio molecular dynamics based on a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics approach. Our calculations do not reveal significant differences between the substituted and wild-type systems in terms of geometries, thermodynamics, and kinetics of two previously identified intermediate states along the S2 to S3 transition, namely, the open cubane S2A and closed cubane S2B conformers. Conversely, our calculations show different pKa values for the water molecule bound to the three investigated heterocations. Specifically, for Cd-substituted PSII, the pKa value is 5.3 units smaller than the respective value in wild type Ca-PSII. On the basis of our results, we conclude that, assuming all the cations sharing the same binding site, the induced difference in the acidity of the binding pocket might influence the hydrogen bonding network and the redox levels to prevent the further evolution of the cycle toward the S3 state. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Characterization of the Sr2+- and Cd2+-Substituted Oxygen-Evolving Complex of Photosystem II by Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations

PITARI, FABIO;BOVI, DANIELE;NARZI, DANIELE;GUIDONI, Leonardo
2015-01-01

Abstract

The Mn4CaO5 cluster in the oxygen-evolving complex is the catalytic core of the Photosystem II (PSII) enzyme, responsible for the water splitting reaction in oxygenic photosynthesis. The role of the redox-inactive ion in the cluster has not yet been fully clarified, although several experimental data are available on Ca2+-depleted and Ca2+-substituted PSII complexes, indicating Sr2+-substituted PSII as the only modification that preserves oxygen evolution. In this work, we investigated the structural and electronic properties of the PSII catalytic core with Ca2+ replaced with Sr2+ and Cd2+ in the S2 state of the Kok-Joliot cycle by means of density functional theory and ab initio molecular dynamics based on a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics approach. Our calculations do not reveal significant differences between the substituted and wild-type systems in terms of geometries, thermodynamics, and kinetics of two previously identified intermediate states along the S2 to S3 transition, namely, the open cubane S2A and closed cubane S2B conformers. Conversely, our calculations show different pKa values for the water molecule bound to the three investigated heterocations. Specifically, for Cd-substituted PSII, the pKa value is 5.3 units smaller than the respective value in wild type Ca-PSII. On the basis of our results, we conclude that, assuming all the cations sharing the same binding site, the induced difference in the acidity of the binding pocket might influence the hydrogen bonding network and the redox levels to prevent the further evolution of the cycle toward the S3 state. © 2015 American Chemical Society.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/91283
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